TinaDura

Ben Horton and Tina Dura (pictured) recently completed fieldwork for their NSF RAPID grant to document the geomorphic impacts of the 2015 Illapel earthquake and tsunami along the Chilean coast. The Sea Level Research team visited three coastal wetland sites that preserved evidence of the 2015 tsunami. They mapped the tsunami deposit (thickness, structure, buried vegetation, inland run-up, etc) at the three sites, and collected samples along coast parallel and coast perpendicular transects in order to characterize the sedimentology and microfossil content of the deposit. The data will shed light on how tsunami deposits are preserved in coastal sedimentary sequences and how we can better identify them in the fossil record. The run-up measurements of the tsunami will also be used to calibrate model simulations of the 2015 tsunami in order to improve prehistoric tsunami model solutions. The team was also successful in finding possible paleotsunami evidence in the same coastal wetlands where they mapped the 2015 deposit. They discovered up to three additional sand beds interbedded within coastal marsh peats. This is an exciting find in north central Chile, where no paleotsunami evidence has ever been described.